Decreasing Metal Ore Grades

Are They Really Being Driven by the Depletion of High-Grade Deposits?


  • This massive decrease in copper ore grades was not driven by depletion of higher grade deposits with resulting higher copper prices. It was instead a direct result of innovation that converted massive supplies of previously worthless “waste” rock into valuable ore.

Address correspondence to:
Jim West
Social and Economic Sciences Program
CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Gungahlin Homestead, Bellenden St., Crace A.C.T, GPO Box 284, Canberra A.C.T. 2601, Australia